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tesla-accident-attorneys-CaliforniaAutonomous driving technology has been touted by manufacturers as a potential solution to the problems of serious motor vehicle collisions. As several manufacturers continue to test systems on the nation’s roadways, the likelihood of autonomous vehicles becoming available in the market has increased. However, this type of technology cannot prevent all accidents, and drivers who misuse semi-autonomous technology in their vehicles can cause serious accidents in which people can be injured or killed. A pending criminal case in California demonstrates the potential liability of motorists who are driving semi-autonomous vehicles and cause serious injury or fatality collisions. It also raises potential issues involving product liability.

Fatal California Tesla Autopilot Collision Results in Criminal Charges

In 2019, Kevin George Aziz Riad, a 27-year-old man, was driving his Tesla on Autopilot mode. Tesla Autopilot is a driver-assist technology that is considered to be level 2 automation technology on the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) six levels of autonomous technology. While Tesla Autopilot is not fully autonomous, it includes features that include automatic lane changes, traffic-aware cruise control, lane centering, self-parking, semi-autonomous navigation, and the ability for a driver to summon the vehicle from a parking spot or garage. However, when a driver has Tesla Autopilot engaged, he or she must constantly supervise the vehicle and be prepared to take over at any time. Tesla recommends drivers keep at least one hand on the wheel while they are using Tesla Autopilot.

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LAZ Parking is a large employer in Los Angeles.  They run valet parking for many commercial buildings across California including many buildings in Los Angeles like the Century City Mall, the SLS Hotel, the Broad Museum, and many high rise office buildings like 707 Wilshire and 515 S. Figueroa.   They also provide parking management services and valets for numerous buildings all over California including Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and San Diego.   They have hundreds of employees across California that are being paid by the hour.

Hourly employees like these are entitled to very specific wage and hour benefits.    This includes the right to be provided with meal and rest breaks, the entitlement to overtime compensation for working over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, the right to being paid in full and on time, the right to be provided with complete and accurate wage statements and paystubs and many other rights.

Steven M. Sweat APC is currently representing LAZ Parking employees across California who’s legal rights have been violated with regard to compliance with California wage and hour laws.  We have representative actions filed under the California Private Attorney’s General Act (PAGA).  If you or someone you know worked for LAZ Parking at any time in the last 3-4 years, please call us at 866-966-5240 to find out more about your legal rights to participate in a class claim to be compensated for wages you may be owed!

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In California medical malpractice lawsuits involving allegations of professional negligence, the state caps awards of non-economic damages at $250,000. However, when a lawsuit involves allegations of abuse while in the care of licensed professionals, there was previously a question about whether the damages cap applies or if instead noneconomic damages are unlimited under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Elder Abuse Act). In a recent case involving patients in a mental health hospital who were sexually abused by an unlicensed mental health aide, the Court of Appeals considered whether the damages cap under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) applied or if the damages award could instead be unlimited under the Elder Abuse Act.

Factual and Procedural Background

In the case of Samantha B., et. al. v. Aurora Vista Del Mar, LLC, et. al., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B30231, several women who were patients of a mental health hospital alleged that they were repeatedly sexually abused by an unlicensed attendant. Samantha B., Danielle W., and C. F. were patients at Aurora Vista Del Mar, a licensed psychiatric hospital. The facility was owned by Signature Healthcare Services.

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California-Freeway-Accident-AttorneysWith more than 39.5 million people calling California their home combined with tourists and other visitors, California’s freeways, interstates, and highways are perennially congested with traffic. California’s transportation infrastructure ranges from wide city avenues, numerous interstates and freeways, winding beach roads, and major highways, allowing plenty of routes for people to choose to travel to their destinations.

Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere. However, there are some interstates and other roads that are more dangerous than others. Multiple factors increase the risks of accidents on certain roads, including traffic congestion, speed limits, narrow lanes, poor visibility, difficulty navigating, and others. In 2020, 3,723 people were killed in traffic collisions in California, which was a sharp increase over the 3,540 traffic deaths that occurred in the state in 2019.

The population density of California makes it unsurprising that the state is known for traffic problems. Unfortunately, many motor vehicle collisions in the state result in serious injuries or fatalities each year. A recent study also found that California is home to three of the most dangerous freeways in the nation. Understanding which roads are the most dangerous might help people to exercise added caution when they drive on them and potentially avoid being involved in collisions. Here are some of the most dangerous freeways and roads in California.

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California-Bicycle-Accident-AttorneysIn Sept. 2021, an incident involving a 16-year-old teenager who struck six cyclists after blowing clouds of exhaust fumes on a group of cyclists was widely reported in the news media. The incident happened in Texas. Initially, the teen was released by the police from the scene without charges. However, the district attorney’s office in the county where the incident happened recently filed charges against the teen.

While the case is pending in Texas, if a similar incident happened in California, the perpetrator would also likely be charged with serious crimes. In either state, the injured victims would also be entitled to pursue compensation through personal injury claims regardless of the outcome of the criminal case against the defendant. Here is some information about the incident and how it might be handled if it happened in California.

Texas incident

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Sexual-Abuse-Lawsuits-Los-AngelesThe widespread problem of clergy sexual abuse of children within the Catholic church has been well-documented and broadly reported in the news media over the last couple of decades. People who are the victims of sexual assault can pursue compensation through civil sexual assault lawsuits. The California Court of Appeal recently considered a case in which the trial court found that the Archdiocese did not have a duty to protect a minor during the late 1980s because of its lack of knowledge about a priest’s past misconduct in Doe v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B305810.[1]

Factual and procedural background

John HG Doe attended classes at the Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church during the late 1980s. The classes were held in a room located off of the sanctuary. When Doe was 10 in 1988, he asked to go to the bathroom. While he was in a bathroom stall, Father John Higson, an associate pastor who was not Doe’s teacher, entered the stall, groped Doe’s genitals, and forced Doe to perform oral sex on Higson. According to Doe, Higson told him that all of the boys did that as a part of their first communion. When Doe returned to class, he was upset. However, his teacher did not ask him why he was upset, and he did not tell the teacher what had happened to him.

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Los-Angeles-Traffic-Accidents-AttorneysSpeeding places everyone on the road at risk here in Los Angeles. According to data from the National Safety Council, speeding was responsible for 26% of all traffic fatalities that happened in 2019. The NSC also reported that speeding as a contributing factor for fatal accidents decreased with age, and the highest number of speeding-related fatal accidents occurred with young male drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. A recent case that happened in Los Angeles demonstrates the dangers of speeding and the impact this negligent driving behavior can have on others.

Teen Adjudicated for Fatal Accident

A driver who was 17 at the time the crash occurred recently was sentenced to spend between seven and nine months in a juvenile facility after he caused a fatal accident while speeding. On Feb. 17, 2021, the teenager was driving his father’s Lamborghini with his girlfriend at the time. He started racing and was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour when he crashed into a vehicle that was being driven by a 32-year-old woman near the intersection of Overland Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. The collision caused the woman’s car to nearly be split in half, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Fatal-Car-Accident-Lawyers-Los-AngelesWhile gun-related deaths are a serious problem in California and the rest of the U.S., traffic accidents cause just as many deaths as guns each year. When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, it is among the most dangerous things you might do on any given day. Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and cause millions of others to suffer serious injuries.

Even though people have clocked fewer miles during the pandemic, traffic fatalities have increased in the last 18 months. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 42,060 people were killed during 2020, which was a 24% increase from traffic fatalities in 2019. By comparison, USA Today reports that 41,000 Americans were killed in gun-related incidents in 2020, meaning that more people were killed in traffic accidents than in gun incidents.

Even though fewer people were on the roads in 2020 because of the pandemic, traffic deaths still surged. This surge in traffic fatalities has continued during 2021 even though more people are back on the roads. Policy changes should be implemented to reduce traffic deaths.

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Rehab-Facility-Injury-Attorneys-300x199In California, close family members of people who die are entitled to pursue compensation through wrongful death claims when their loved ones’ deaths are caused by the negligent actions of others. In Green v. Healthcare Services, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. G057950, the appeals court considered whether a patient’s suicide at a treatment facility qualified as a superseding cause and should have prevented a finding of negligence against the defendant.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Jeffrey Green was a 33-year-old man who had struggled with opioid addiction since he was 16. He started by using Oxycontin and began taking high doses of methadone beginning at age 27. Greene called Lighthouse, residential, voluntary treatment and mental health facility for an intake interview. During the interview, he told the intake person that he wanted to live but not the way that he was. He also stated that he needed to get off of methadone. He also informed the intake person that his father had committed suicide a few years before but denied any suicidal ideations himself. Green signed a “no harm” contract upon his entry to the facility in which he agreed that he would not harm himself.

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In California, many people use paraquat-containing herbicides to prevent weeds from encroaching on their lawns and fields. Paraquat-containing herbicides are commonly used by farmers and agricultural workers, and many people are unaware of the potential dangers these substances pose. Paraquat is a chemical found in many industrial herbicides, including Gramoxone, Parazone, Para-Shot, Helmquat, and others. People who directly use paraquat-containing herbicides with licenses and those who are indirectly exposed to this chemical over a long period of time have a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. People who have developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat-containing herbicides might be entitled to pursue compensation. An experienced product liability attorney at the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC, can review your case and explain whether it has legal merits.

Link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat is a common chemical found in many industrial herbicides that farmers and agricultural workers use on fields to control weed growth. It is used across the U.S. and the world. Researchers have found a link between paraquat exposure and the development of Parkinson’s disease. In a 2019 systematic review, researchers found that Parkinson’s disease occurrence was 25% higher in people who had been exposed to paraquat versus those who had not.

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